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Beijing targets traffic law violators
By Di Fang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-06 00:15

The Beijing municipal government has vowed to strengthen its oversight on army and government vehicles, especially those used by law enforcement officers.

In a move started on Sunday, the Beijing municipal government planned to make public all traffic violations by government and army officials using publicly owned vehicles, the Beijing News reported.

Besides punishments prescribed by the Road Traffic Safety Law, those units whose public vehicles are responsible for serious traffic accidents, will also be punished by the government, sources said.

Local residents have recently been criticizing government vehicle operators who break the law, noting that some individuals operating"special" government cars do not see fit to abide by the very Road Traffic Safety Law they are supposed to uphold.

Cars used by army or police can easily be distinguished from their distinctly different licence plates in China.

"At the Gulou crossing in Beijing, for example, when all vehicles are sometimes waiting for a green light, army cars dare to rush right through red lights," an citizen said in an online commentary yesterday.

The decision to crack down on government traffic violators is being initiated by eight municipal Party and government departments, including the Publicity Department of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Beijing Municipal Commission of Communications.

The move is expected to last through June 2008, just ahead of the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing.

The municipal government says the move is part of an effort to conduct traffic safety education among local residents according to the measures adopted by the Beijing municipal government to implement the national Road Traffic Safety Law. The measures will be effective next January.

University students, migrant workers, drivers and pedestrians are special targets of government when it comes to traffic education.

Students are required to learn traffic safety knowledge when entering universities.

Meanwhile, drivers and pedestrians are being asked to respect zebra-striped crossings.

Currently, some motor vehicle drivers will choose to drive right through the crossings even when pedestrians are present, and pedestrians cross the road anywhere.

The Beijing municipal government is also launching a plan to make residential districts and villages more traffic-friendly, with the hope that more than 60 per cent of the urban residential districts and 50 per cent of villages within the 1 kilometre radius of major roads becoming traffic-friendly by next year.

The two percentage figures are expected to reach 80 per cent and 70 per cent respectively by 2007.

A batch of other areas, roads and public transportation lines will also be named by the local government as traffic-friendly ones in the near future.

Those traffic-friendly areas and roads are required to have no pedestrians cross the street out of zebra crossing, no jumping red light and no parking in forbidding areas, sources said.

Vehicles of traffic-friendly public transportation lines were required to instruct passengers to get in and get out of the vehicles in order. Those qualified public transportation vehicles were also required to provide good services and avoid disputes with passengers.

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